02 Dec 2021, 12:32

Australian state tightens border restrictions amid COVID-19 outbreak

  CANBERRA, Dec. 2, 2021 (BSS/Xinhua) - The state government of South
Australia (SA) has tightened its border restrictions in response to the
latest coronavirus outbreak.

SA on Thursday reported 18 new COVID-19 cases, 16 of which have been linked
to a school reunion event on Saturday night while the remaining two are
believed to have become infected interstate.

  Authorities have not identified the source of the school reunion outbreak
but believe it is someone who brought coronavirus into SA after it opened its
borders to travellers from COVID-hit New South Wales (NSW), Victoria and the
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) on Nov. 23.

  In response to the outbreak and concerns over the Omicron variant, SA
Premier Steven Marshall announced that all travellers from NSW must now be
tested on arrival in SA.

  The state has also increased the quarantine requirements for international
arrivals from seven days back to 14.

  Marshall said he was not surprised by the spike in case numbers after
opening the border but that the Omicron situation must be monitored
"extraordinarily carefully."

  On Thursday, Australia reported more than 1,700 new COVID-19 cases as the
country continues to battle the third wave of infections.

  The majority of new cases were in Victoria, the country's second-most
populous state with Melbourne as the capital city, where 1,418 locally-
acquired cases and 10 deaths were reported.

The number of confirmed Omicron cases in the country has increased to eight
after a recently returned international traveller tested positive in NSW.

  As of Wednesday 92.6 percent of Australians aged 16 and over had received
one vaccine dose and 87.4 percent had their second dose, according to the
Department of Health.

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